Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement, he announced Thursday morning (Oct. 15) during a press conference at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. He provided the confirmation just hours before a larger press conference taking place at 4 p.m. ET.
While not mentioning any specific city or venue, it has been widely reported that the 47-year-old entertainer will perform an extended engagement at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Following the announcement in Nashville, Brooks shuttled approximately 40 members of the news media to the Nashville International Airport for a private flight to an undisclosed location for the afternoon press conference.
During the Nashville press conference, Brooks also advocated expanded unionization within the music industry and the need for artists, songwriters, publishing companies and record labels to protect their copyrights on songs and recorded music.
“We need to take back the music,” Brooks said. He added, “We don’t realize how powerful we are. [Former Capitol Records Nashville chief] Jimmy Bowen told me that once, and he was absolutely right.”
Brooks alluded to the possibility of strong measures to prove the point.
“If the world goes silent for a day, we will realize how powerful we are,” he said. He also noted, “Athletics have got it right. Until we unionize, we have no power.”
When he announced his retirement in 2000, Brooks said he wanted to spend more time with his three daughters. In his comments Thursday, he said he’s coming out of retirement because his children are older — and he misses the music.
His youngest daughter is now 13, and Brooks said he has no plans for recording or concert tours for at least another five years.
Brooks and his first wife, Sandy Mahl, divorced in 2001. Trisha Yearwood, his wife since 2005, was present at the 25-minute press conference in Nashville.
CMT editorial director Chet Flippo provided information from the press conference.